Saturday, November 27, 2010

HTML: finding a level

I told Hodmandod Senior that I was interested in learning a little HTML so he handed me this book...

I can barely hold it in one hand...

It was originally bought for Hodmandod Minor when he too expressed an interest in learning webdesign. However, I am thinking maybe this is the book is the wrong one for me. Maybe what I need is not 'mastering' HTML but something more like 'dipping-my-elbow' into HTML just to test the water.

(And luckily, RapidWeaver seems to involve no HTML at all at first glance, which fills me with a large amount of optimism).


Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

I would recommend the use of a program like Evrsoft First Page 2006 which you can download for free from their website for free. I’ve tried a few WYSIWYG editors and I’ve stuck with this one. HTML is quite an easy language for a beginner to pick up. You basically turn things like BOLD on and then you turn them off when you’ve finished with them. It’s logical. Where you will come a cropper is designing a webpage (which is what I’m assuming you want to do) that will look as good viewed using Explorer in Windows at a screen resolution of 800 x 640 pixels as it does on a Mac using Safari and a screen resolution of 1366 x 738. My solution to that has always been to ‘steal’ a screen that I like the shape of and rework the code which can at times be tricky.

There’s plenty of stuff online to teach you the basics but there’s no reason not to have an ‘Idiot’s Guide’ – I have book like the one you’re holding for Access plus an Idiot’s Guide and I used them both. You might want to start by looking at I consult it constantly. It provides snippets of code so you can see how things should be laid out. Take this example which shows you how a table is laid out. If you click on the ‘Try It Yourself’ button you can play with the code until you’ve got it.

Sat Nov 27, 11:35:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Jim! What a lot of useful information - thank you! I'm not sure when I'm going to start all this but I'll certainly try out these tips of yours when I do.

Sat Nov 27, 08:16:00 pm  
Blogger SomeBeans said...

Rather than raw HTML, why not play around with making a site in Wordpress? (you can run this locally) If you don't use Wordpress hosting then you have much more control of a site's look and feel. Wordpress sites can be very varied in appearance (and you can make pages in HTML if you like) - you can also bang your head repeatedly against CSS - to make your site look beautiful.
I set up the Chester LibDems site using Wordpress.

Sun Nov 28, 07:55:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

That's really impressive, SomeBeans! Looks truly professional. Thank you - I'm not altogether what 'run this locally' means, though. I have a lot to learn, obviously.

Sun Nov 28, 08:12:00 am  
Blogger SomeBeans said...

Thanks - kept me out of trouble for a bit, most of the structure was pretty straightforward to do - tuning the details of the appearance in CSS was the tricky bit!
Rather than pay for a company to host Wordpress, you can install all the software on your own computer. It does mean no-one else can see it, but if you're fiddling around it's ideal. Instructions for doing it the Mac are here

There are various add-ons and tools inside web-browsers which allow you to examine the HTML and CSS that are used to make the page you are viewing - I find this pretty useful too.

Sun Nov 28, 08:18:00 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

I use Dreamweaver for my web pages. No html knowledge necessary, but an understanding of it is helpful in sorting out problems.

Sun Nov 28, 09:40:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Very many thanks, SomeBeans! I am definitely going to have a go at this just as soon as I've finished this latest novel. I shall let you know how I get on.

Sun Nov 28, 02:33:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thant's reassuring, Anne, thanks for letting me know. I hope to get there in the end!

Sun Nov 28, 02:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Mary said...

Hey, Clare, I've used the Idiot's Guide Jim mentioned to teach myself HTML. I've also had experience setting up WordPress on a server. (Haven't played much with the CSS on it, though. Most of the free WordPress layouts are already attractive and easily customizable.) If you need help, give me a holler.

Mon Nov 29, 04:24:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Mary! You're very kind - I certainly shall!

Mon Nov 29, 06:06:00 am  

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